Publisher: Goldsieber/Rio Grande
Big City, big fun
This game has a classic German-game feel. Every turn you find yourself wanting to do two or three actions even though you are only ever permitted one. So you find yourself having to give priorities to everything, all the while hoping that an opponent isn't going to plant a factory down where you want to put your big-bucks shopping mall.
The city starts off rather small. You draw a few cards - each card gives you building rights for one city block - and you usually try to gain points by building residences and office buildings. Eventually someone decides to play the Town Hall, which opens up a number of options such as special buildings, streetcar lines and parks. Location is everything in Big City and you really need to plan where your buildings are going to go in order to get you the maximum score.
Big City has enough variety to continue to interest, and even with bad cards you can still get a halfway decent score. Friends I have played it with tell me that it works well as a two-player game, but is stretched a bit thin with five, as too much is happening between your turns for you to adequately plan anything.
Getting plastic pieces in a German game is pretty unusual, but Big City's pieces are detailed enough that you end up not minding. Definitely an entertaining game.